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DC09

Feds Might Ease Post-9/11 Airport Rule

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PITTSBURGH - Pittsburgh International could become the nation's first major airport to get the OK to abandon the post-Sept. 11 rule that says only ticketed passengers are allowed past security checkpoints.

Federal security officials are considering allowing people once more to say their hellos and goodbyes to friends and loved ones at the gate.

Airport officials and western Pennsylvania's congressional delegation have pushed for two years for the change for reasons of money and passenger convenience.

What happens here could become a model for other airports.

"This is new, this is exciting, because we're basically rewriting the security directives in order to allow nonticketed passengers to go through security," said JoAnn Jenny, spokeswoman for the Allegheny County Airport Authority, which runs the airport.

Pittsburgh is a strong candidate for the experiment for two reasons: It has a centralized security checkpoint in one terminal. And it has a full-scale shopping mall that has suffered a drop-off in business because it is reachable only by ticketed passengers.

If the change is approved, people without tickets will have to go through security just like passengers. They will be checked with metal detectors and may have to empty their pockets and handbags and take off their shoes.

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To be honest I think that is a stupid idea. I have never heard of people being able to wave their friends and family from a gate. That does not happen over here in Blighty. I think that security needs to stay tight and not slacken.

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And it has a full-scale shopping mall that has suffered a drop-off in business because it is reachable only by ticketed passengers.

Let's see, instead of designing a way to allow the mall to either be moved or closed. (they charge twice as much than any other type of store that has to deal with compitition) Let's risk security for the almighty dollar.

I once had to fly out of Salt Lake airport, I made the mistake of leaving on a day when Morman missionaries were leaving. After standing for an hour and a half because there where no seats anywhere, having to fight my way to the gate past families and freinds that had to watch the dearly departed missionary go down the plank. When I finally got on the plane, it was less than half full. You would have thought the plane was packed by the number of people at the gate.

Flying is stressfull enough, leave the farewell party at the check point.

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